All the Names I Took Over Years of Kicking Ass May Have Been Exposed in a Data Breach

I urge you to take steps to avoid use of this information

Matthew David Brozik
How Pants Work
Published in
4 min readMar 14


Many people do their ass-kicking and name-taking only figuratively. Not me.


I’m writing to inform you of a recent security incident involving my records of asses kicked and names taken. This notification is being sent pursuant to various state, national, and international laws and because I genuinely feel bad about what happened.

As you know — though you might have tried to forget — I have been kicking ass and taking names for years now. Many people who boast of kicking ass and taking names do their ass-kicking and name-taking only figuratively. Not me. I have kept a written account of each ass I have kicked and the corresponding name I have taken since the third quarter of Physical Year 2008.

When I began kicking ass, I would simply jot names in a basic spiral notebook — red, if memory serves — the same kind that I used for each of my high school subjects. In fact, it was probably the actual notebook I was supposed to be using for Algebra 1. I don’t have any recollection of ever taking notes in Algebra 1. I was convinced that math was only for people who didn’t kick ass and take names. How naïve I was!

In college, I switched to a more substantial (read: pretentious) hardcover sketchbook — unlined, if you can believe it, because I had the notion that I would include a pencil drawing of the relevant ass next to each name I took. I even enrolled in an introductory anatomy illustration class. Soon enough, though, I abandoned this aspect of my recordkeeping and returned to a more streamlined accounting. Indeed, after graduation, I adopted a modified double-entry accounting system of asses kicked and names taken, which I used for about a decade before digitizing my records at the recommendation of a friend who made the switch himself after dropping his wallet in the Seine — and with it his handwritten list of “Grievances, Grudges & Gripes.”

After that, I regularly upgraded to whatever new software promised to help me keep my ass-and-name database up to date with the most ease. Excel worked just fine for a while, but eventually I realized that a spreadsheet was not quite the right tool for the job. I migrated my data to Access — not so much because of my loyalty to Microsoft as because Access starts with “A” and ends with “ss.” When the sheer volume of my records made it unfeasible for me to store them locally, I researched cloud-hosted database systems, eventually deciding that a virtual machine (VM) setup was preferable to a managed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) for my purposes. In the end, I purchased a subscription with a service called Backspace, which felt appropriate. As it happens, Backspace also underwrites a cryptocurrency (Buttcoin), in which I invested a significant amount of my retirement funds.

Unfortunately, some nefarious person or persons gained unauthorized access to the Backspace servers at some point in the past couple of weeks. Whether the infiltration was carried out by cyberterrorists, organized criminals, political activists, or recreational hackers is unknown; likewise unknown is whether the sensitive data — including my records — was copied, transmitted, altered, or merely viewed. Regardless, it is my responsibility to inform you that your name and the fact that I kicked your ass might no longer be strictly confidential.

Although the data in my records is limited to your name (in many instances only your first name and last initial) and the status of your ass (“Kicked.”), nonetheless I urge you to take steps to avoid use of this information by a third party in a manner that could negatively affect, among other things, your reputation, peace of mind, or credit score.

To protect yourself from the possibility of identity theft, I recommend that you immediately place a fraud alert on your credit files. Because your identity will in this case be connected with your posterior, you should promptly communicate your concerns to Equifass, Assperian, and TrassUnion. Even if you do not see signs of identity theft, you should remain vigilant. Watch your backside, in other words.

Finally, I want to assure you that I take no pleasure whatsoever in informing you of this regrettable circumstance. It occurred to me that some of you might suspect that I intentionally allowed the names of those who have been on the receiving end of an ass-kicking by yours truly to be made public. I give you my word that this leakage was accidental and that I will do whatever is required to clean up whatever mess it causes.